2012 Holiday Gift Guide
|The GoalZero Guide 10 Plus Adventure Kit is a USB Solar Charging station designed to keep your phone, tablet and flash batteries juiced throughout the day.|
Sometimes outdoor shoots can last all day, but the average battery can't. Your smartphone, tablet and flash AAs will be hurting halfway into the day. The GoalZero 10 Plus Adventure kit is a green alternative to buying battery extenders and additional batteries.
The GoalZero Guide 10 Plus Adventure kit consists of the Nomad Solar Panel, a 17 x 9 x 0.1 inch (43 x 23 x 0.25 cm) (when unfolded) tri-fold portfolio equipped with two solar panels. The mono-crystalline solar panels are capable of producing 7 watts of power each. Devices can be plugged into the USB solar hub to charge them as you play in the sun and the panels can deliver enough juice to fully charge the included AA battery pack in 3-4 hours. This battery pack holds four rechargeable AA or AAA batteries - common in devices like flashes or wireless transmitters. 4x AA batteries are included with the kit.
A zippered pouch is available for storing cables and other small items, and the GoalZero 10 Plus kit also includes a built-in LED flashlight.
- Recharge your batteries and peripheral devices using the sun
- Small and compact enough to carry anywhere
- Handy built-in LED flashlight to help you search in your dark backpack or purse
- AA rechargeable batteries included
What we like - Juice throughout the day, courtesy of the sun
What we don't like - This isn't a fast-charger, and you'll need to find a suitable place to set the kit up for a few hours.
|Adobe's Creative Suite comprises a large number of programs from specialist web development and design tools to the latest versions of Photoshop and Lightroom.|
If you're shopping for a photography student this holiday season, or someone who's new to digital imaging, the latest version of Photoshop Elements - Elements 11 - would make a great gift. Aimed at novice users, Elements isn't part of Adobe's Creative Suite and at $99 it's one of the most affordable programs of its kind, but packed with features nonetheless. Elements started out as a very limited, extremely cut-down piece of software, but it has since evolved into a powerful image manipulation and organizing platform, available for Windows and Mac.
Photoshop Lightroom 4 is aimed at enthusiasts and professionals that need to edit and organise large numbers of Raw images quickly (although you can also work on JPEGs and there's limited support for video editing, too). A powerful organization and editing tool, at its heart is the same raw demosaicing algorithm that powers Adobe's Camera Raw plugin in Photoshop. Compared to 'full strength' Photoshop though, Lightroom is intended to satisfy photographers who need to do a small number of things, but fast and frequently. At $149, it's great value. Click here to read our review.
Another option, if the photographer in your life is an imaging professional, is Adobe Creative Cloud. Creative Cloud is a membership program offered by Adobe that offers users instant downloads of any Adobe CS software as soon as they become available in any available language. Members also get access to the Creative Cloud website, which serves as a hub where you can explore, create, publish, and share your work. Online storage of 20GB will let you share and sync your pictures wherever you are in the world.
Existing CS customers qualify for Creative Cloud membership at a reduced price of up for $30 per month (for the first year), but if you or your loved one is new to the suite, you'll be looking at $50 per month, which works out at $600 per year. A serious chunk of change, but of course far less expensive than paying for the programs (and their eventual upgrades) separately.
What we like - Elements is great for beginners, Lightroom is quick, powerful and great value for enthusiasts, and Creative Cloud puts every CS program and future update in any language right at your fingertips (but at a cost).
What we don't like - We wish Elements worked a little more like Photoshop CS6 and Lightroom, to ease the transition for upgraders, and we wish there was a cheaper version of Creative Cloud covering only Adobe's more photo-centric programs (do you really need Flash Builder?)
|The Canon Pixma Pro-10 inkjet printer uses 10 individual inks and prints 4800 DPI on up to 13" x 19" media.|
Arguably, after camera and lenses, your next purchase should be a high quality printer to reproduce your digital photographs. There are plenty of printers out there, but the one we've selected here is the Canon Pixma Pro-10, a professional inkjet model that replaces the highly acclaimed Pixma Pro9500 Mark II.
The Pixma Pro-10 features Canon's newest Optimum Image Generating (OIG) System, which is found in the more expensive Pixma Pro-1. This system helps determine what ink combinations are best for the type of paper used, as well as the balancing of color reproduction, tonal gradations, and uniform glossiness. The Pixma Pro-10 uses 10 individual inks with three of them devoted to true monochrome prints.
Speed has also been enhanced on the new Pixma Pro-10, as the printer can churn out an 11 x 14 in (27.94 x 35.56cm) print in 5 minutes and 20 seconds, compared to the Pixma Pro9500's 7 minute and 55 second time. The Pixma Pro-10 can handle borderless prints on up to 13 x 19 inch (33.02 x 48.26cm) paper, prints at 4800 DPI and even supports WiFi and mobile device printing. It has high-speed USB and is PictBridge and AirPrint compatible.
If $700 is too much, Canon also makes the excellent Pixma Pro-100, which features dye-based inks at a lower pricepoint of around $500. Also consider Epson's Stylus Photo R2880, which like the Pixma Pro-10 features three monochrome inks and gives excellent results for a street price of around $550.
- Print on media up to 13 x 19in (33.02 x 48.26cm)
- Maximum 4800 DPI
- 10 individual 'Lucia' ink cartridges, including three monochrome inks
- Built-in WiFi
What we like - Faster than predecessors, WiFi enabled, equipped with latest OIG system
What we don't like - Pricey (but you get what you pay for) and high running cost - 10 individual ink cartridges can get very expensive over time...
|The Western Digital My Book Studio USB 3.0 external hard drive offers up to three times faster connectivity than its USB 2.0 predecessor.|
RAW and HD video files are large and can eat up your computer's native hard drive storage capacity before you know it. An external hard drive is an essential tool for any avid digital photographer. The great thing about shopping for external hard drives is that units are getting faster all the time, and offering more and more storage for less and less cost. I remember dropping $300 on a 300GB hard drive back in 2002 that I had to assemble and configure myself...
The Western Digital MyBook Studio USB 3 external hard drive family is a prime example of the progress in consumer-level storage technology. For $190, you can pick up the 2TB MyBook Studio with a new high-speed USB 3.0 interface. For many of us, that's enough capacity for a years' shooting at least. Western Digital also offers the MyBook Studio USB 3.0 in 3TB and 4TB iterations for MSRPs of $240 and $300, respectively, and if you just don't need the space, there's a 1TB version for $160. If you shop around though, you can find all of them for less than their recommended retail price.
In addition to offering three times faster data transfer speeds than older USB 2.0 drives, the alumiunium-encased Western Digital MyBook Studio USB 3.0 can be password protected, and can be used with Windows or Mac Computers (the drive is formatted for Mac by default), and supports Apple's Time Machine automatic backup technology.
If you need storage on the move, we recommend you check out LaCie's Rugged USB 3.0 Thunderbolt Series mobile hard drive. This portable drive measures a mere 89 x 140 x 24 mm / 3.5 x 5.5 x 0.97 inches and comes in two SSD versions (120GB and 256GB), as well as a standard 1TB 'spinning disk' variant. The LaCie Rugged Thunderbolt series offers a high-speed Thunderbolt connection for use with Apple's newest computers, in addition to USB 3.0, which are both capable of achieving up to 385MB/s file transfer speeds. I own the 500GB FireWire 800/USB 3.0 - also a member of LaCie's Rugged family - and have been very impressed by its ability to handle rough handling. In theory, the solid state drive of the newer model should be even tougher.
- Available in capacities up to 4TB
- USB 3.0 interface
- Heat dissipating aluminum enclosure
- Compatible with Apple Time Machine
- Mac ready, but can be Windows formatted
- Password protection
What we like: - Lightning fast, tons of storage, Mac-friendly but will also play with Windows, password protected, great value (especially if you shop around)
What we don't like: - 3-year warranty is great, but it's limited
Nov 24, 2015
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|Hot Air Balloons Over Bagan by User9320321874|
|Blue mood by darub|
from Fixed lens shootout.
|Yellow Warbler by LeeS|
from A Big Year - birds
|Waiting for the Parade by tcoker1103|
from - La Vida Loca - (Black and White Street Photography+ A Border)
Peak Design's 'consider every detail' approach shines in the Everyday Backpack. While expensive, it's one of the best options out there for a photographer who needs to pack a lot of stuff in addition to gear.
If you're thinking of using Canon's sports glass on the Sony a9, think again. The ultra-fast camera slows way down when you attach off-brand glass.
The Polish town of Katowice is not known as an area of beauty, but as all photographers know, that doesn't mean that beauty can't be found if you know where to look. Mariusz Pietranek used a drone to look down on the colorful sedimentation tanks at an ironworks.
New York Times video journalist Ben Solomon spent a harrowing three weeks accompanying Iraqi Major Sajjad al-Hour as he and his men fought to retake Mosul from I.S. forces.
The 3D VR camera launched through a crowdfunding campaign in 2015 goes on sale beginning June 26.
Noctilucent clouds, a crescent moon and Venus were visible in the pre-dawn sky over Budapest yesterday. Photographer György Soponyai captured NASA's astronomy picture of the day.
Squirming pets won't sit still for photos? A Kickstarter campaign is looking to help.
Find out how Chris Burkard shifted from editorial photography to his true passions: landscapes, conservation and, of course, surfing.
The updated EyeEm app scans your camera roll and picks images that are composed particularly well, have the best quality, or highest chance of selling on EyeEm Market.
It's three years old but still a solid option for a Micro Four Thirds shooter looking for a high-quality, fast, wide-angle prime. Take a look at how we got along with it.
Tamron has announced the longest all-in-one zoom lens currently available, the 18-400mm F3.5-6.3 Di II VC HLD. Designed for Canon and Nikon crop-sensor cameras, the lens will be available in July.
When you're ready to step-up to full-frame from an entry-level or midrange camera, the choices can be overwhelming. Find out which models came out on top in our $1200-2000 enthusiast ILC roundup.
Just a guy wearing a VR headset, smashing invisible Goombas in Central Park.
NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter captured this gorgeous aerial photo of the Martian landscape. And if you look really close, you can actually see the Mars Curiosity rover in the very middle.
The city of Laguna Beach, California has provided some clarification around the kinds of photography permits it offers.
Later this year, a VR180 camera will be Joining Yi's Halo and 360 VR cameras, which will offer stereo 3D capture, yet be as easy to use and compact as a 2D camera.
Caltech researchers have developed an 'optical phased array' chip that uses time delays instead of a lens to focus the incoming light.
Pricing and shipping have finally been revealed for two highly anticipated lenses from Sigma, announced in February.
These macro photos of clouds of paint billowing through clear water might look like high-quality CGI, but they're real photographs. And photographer Alberto Seveso told us how they were made.
Facebook is testing a feature that prevents people from saving, sharing, or even taking a screenshot of your profile picture.
We've reshot the Sony a9 in our studio. The short story: it's sharper! The long story... well you can read it all here.
The collection will be officially launched during the Europeana Transcribathon Campus Berlin 2017 crowdsourcing event which will be held on 22 and 23 June at the Berlin State Library.
Light gives us some insight into the preparations for the launch of the pre-order shipments of its much anticipated L16 multi-lens camera.
OnePlus co-founder Carl Pei has confirmed in a tweet that the second lens on the back of the OnePlus 5 uses a 1.6x optical zoom and that digital zoom is used to reach the claimed 2x zoom factor.
Fujifilm recently unveiled the second in its series of affordable cine lenses, the MK50-135mm T2.9. We got our hands on it for a couple days and took it for a spin.
Leica's first attempt at an M-series digital rangefinder was rough around the edges, but set a pattern for all of the cameras that came after it. In this week's Throwback Thursday article, Barney remembers the M8.
No stranger to extreme situations, legendary climber and filmmaker Jimmy Chin talks to Outside Magazine about his career, and the challenge of filming Alex Honnold's rope-free solo climb of El Capitain.
A company backed by Android co-founder Andy Rubin is attempting to make video conferencing less terrible.
Rangefinder magazine asked five professional portrait and wedding photographers about posting on Instagram; no surprise, they got five different answers.
This captivating stop motion film was created by stripping away one layer of wood at a time. It's hard to look away.